Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tomorrow, I Will Have Two Teenagers

Little E turns 13 tomorrow! I cant believe how quickly my children have grown up. I know every parent says that, but until it happens to you, it is just so abstract.

Being in the bar business, there are a few days of the year that are about impossible to get off. New Years Eve is one of them. I've been really lucky, and work for good people, and haven't had to work on Ethan's birthday for the past several years. This year though, we had a couple servers quit at work and I was told I have to work the day shift that day. At least that was better than working at night, but I was not thrilled.

Another bartender, K, came to my rescue and is going to work my shift for me! Even though he has to work at a different bar that night. So, he will work 10:30- 7:00 at The Strip Club, then 7:30 until 5:00 a.m. at JP. I was so happy he would do this, I gave him $50, even though he told me it wasn't necessary.

When I told Little E this, (thinking he'd be thrilled to have me home on his birthday) he said, "You could have spent the $50 on a present". Yep. I have a teenager.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ghost of Christmas Past?

Christmas Eve, day shift, the strip club was deserted, quiet as a graveyard. There were 3 customers, one at the stage, one at a table, and one at the bar. The cook came to the bar and asked for a bottle of water and sat down next to a dancer. He opened the bottle, took a sip, and suddenly jumped up and ran back stage. The dancer and I wondered why he suddenly departed. Maybe he had remembered something in the kitchen that needed immediate attention?

Several minutes later, he returned, clearly agitated. He said he saw a man standing by the stage who started to go back stage. The cook went to stop him, and the man disappeared through a door. As he related the story, the man and the bar spoke up, "I saw him too, I thought he worked here." The customer at the bar got up and walked over to where the "man" had been standing. "He was right here, and then he turned and went back there", he said, pointing at the door that leads back stage.

I stood by where the customer had been sitting at the bar and when looking towards the spot, could see a shadow caused by Christmas greens. There are lots of moving lights and shadows. I suggested maybe the shadow looked like a person moving. The cook snapped back, "No, that dark shadow doesn't have any definition. This was a white guy in a hat!" The customer agreed.

I have worked there for eight years and heard many such stories over the years. Most of the stories involve a pale woman in a white dress, often crying. Once a dancer said there was a woman crying in the bathroom. She approached the woman to console her, and she disappeared. Lots of people have seen the woman in white, some have seen men, some have had lights tun off and on or items fall to the floor. I have never had any such experience. I don't know what to think. I have heard the building has quite a history. If it is going to be torn down soon, maybe Ghost Hunters will come investigate. I don't think I believe in the ghosts, but it is intriguing that many different people have similar perceptions, what they believe they see. At any rate, thinking about the past, and people who have been in the building before, make me feel interested in at least doing some research into the history of it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

That might Not Qualify For Per Diem Reimbursement

Before we opened Saturday night, I answered the phone. The caller told me he had a problem. He had been in Monday night and charged over $9,000 to his company credit card. Now he was worried that he might get in trouble at work when they find out. He wanted to know if he could transfer the charge to his personal card.

It is something he will have to discuss with the office manager during business hours, but I wonder, would it ever be a good idea to charge $9,000 of strip club services to your employer? Does it take five days of pondering it to decide that it was a bad idea? I wonder if he has a wife that might also be very upset about a $9,000 strip club bill on his personal card. Tough choices, and hopefully lesson learned.

Friday, December 12, 2008

'Tis The Season to get over a petty grudge against a rock group

Part One of this story is so I don't seem QUITE as crazy in Part Two. I hope.
Part One: A few years ago. Regular day at the strip club. A group of people came in and were super friendly and cheerful and were spending a lot of money. After waiting on them a few times, I learned they were with Pop Satirist, getting ready for his show the next day. I told them my kids love Pop Satirist and one guy said, "Oh, why don't you come to the show? Go to the ticket window tomorrow and I will have tickets and back stage passes waiting for you and your family." So, I told the fam and they were thrilled, but Husband was a little skeptical. We went to the ticket window, got the tickets and passes, enjoyed the show, met the musician and Husband and kids were quite thrilled.

Part Two: A few years ago. Regular day at the strip club. A group of people came in and were super friendly and cheerful and were spending a lot of money. After waiting on them a few times, I learned they were with Christmas Themed Rock Group, getting ready for the show the next day. I told them my kids love Christmas Themed Rock Group and one guy said, "Oh, why don't you come to the show? Go to the ticket window tomorrow and I will have tickets and back stage passes waiting for you and your family." So, I continued to wait on them all day, making sure to give them superior service. I even flashed my breasts for them. They really were fast drinkers who drank a lot. I ran non- stop all day waiting on them and they seemed really happy with my service. One of them gave me his cell phone number and told me to call once we were in our seats at the show and he would bring some stuff up to the kids. I kept confirming that they had my full name and such and were going to make sure there were tickets there. They totally assured me it was taken care of. I really didn't think much of the fact that they had gone through several bottles of Crown Royal, or even the fact that they kept getting warned by management to stop asking for things that were not on the menu. The snow outside wasn't enough for them and they wanted to light up more than a Christmas Tree.

When I brought my family to the ticket window, they did not have my name on a list. I called the cell phone number I had- no answer. I left a voice mail and we waited around, looking pretty pathetic. The show started and my little one started crying. It was a couple days before Christmas, and I hadn't bought my kids presents yet. But I had gotten their hopes up for this show, so I took my Christmas money and bought us four tickets to the show. The kids had a great time. Husband was pretty pissed, and I learned a Christmas lesson- to not be so naive and trusting.

I don't mean to whine about not getting a free handout. I know this was all my own fault. BUT I still feel a twinge of anger when Christmas Themed Rock Group comes to town. I felt a twinge of satisfaction last year when several of the road crew ended up in jail from their behavior in the strip club. I hope after venting a bit here, I will get over the last of my grudge. I know they bring a lot of joy to a lot of people and I was only dealing with a few of the hundred or so people they have on their tour. I think the story of the show I saw was about forgiveness. I am trying to learn that lesson and look back and laugh at my foolishness. And maybe I can enjoy that Miller Lite commercial again.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Brain Freeze

After work last night, my back hurt, so I took some Tylenol PM. As I went to bed, my back pain lessened and luckily the diphenhydramine worked quickly, sending me off to sleep, bacause I started thinking, "shoot, I took some Xanax earlier, didn't I? I think I remember hearing it is dangerous to mix sleep meds and benzos, it may have Heath Ledger like consequences. But it was just some OTC sleep medicine, and I haven't had any alcohol." But before I could think it through or research it further, I fell asleep. I slept well, but was super groggy this morning.

When I woke up, Husband and Big E had already left, and little E was trying to rouse me to put his eye medicine in his eyes before he caught the bus. I groggily put on my glasses and squirted salve in his eyes, noticing his hair was sopping wet. "Little E, you need to dry your hair before you go." "OK, Mom, I will."

I laid back down and snuggled under the covers, but a minute later, Little E came running into my room saying "Mom, Mom, I just remembered I have to be at school early this morning to get filmed for the three words project! It is my turn at 8:05! Will you drive me? Hurry, hurry!"

So I jumped out of bed (8:00) without asking questions and raced to the car. On the way, I asked, "So what is this project?", noticing his hair is dripping onto his coat.
"All the seventh graders picked three words and then we get filmed for three seconds while we do something while we are saying the words."
"What three words are you saying?"
"I'm charged up!"
"Oh, and what are you doing while you say that?"
"Well, before the camera starts, I am going to rub my hair on a chair and then it will be standing up all over while I say 'I'm charged up!' I'm going to have to run to Mrs. W's room! Bye!"
(8:04; hair is now a popsicle) "Ok, well, good luck with that Sparky."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

More Fun With Surveys

Christmas in our household is probably a typical combination of joy and stress. We are not Christian, but try to emulate some of the Christian values that are supposed to be the hallmark of the season- compassion, giving, celebration of love and family. We don't do Santa Claus, but I do like to try to get my kids something special for Christmas. This year, I know they want an X Box 360. Also, they want cell phones and a membership to the health club. On the one hand, most of their friends have cell phones and gym memberships that are just given to them, not as part of a Christmas present or for any special occasion. On the other hand, I don't think I can afford all three, and through the course of a year, cell phones or a gym membership add up to be quite an expense, I would call present-worthy.

I decided to see what they are wanting the most by making a little written survey they could both fill out and then Husband and I could discuss what to get.

Please rank 1-3 what you would most like for Christmas:
__ X Box 360
__ Cell Phone
__ Gym Membership

Instead of getting comments, I got questions and complaints. "What Kind of X Box 360? I don't want the Arcade. You can't get the Arcade."; "What kind of cell phones? Would they have full keyboards? Unlimited texting?"; "Would you take us to the gym whenever we wanted to go?"; "Don't you think you should just give us cell phones and the gym membership anyway? Don't you care about our health and safety?"; "Who's room would the X Box go in? How many games would we get with it?"; "I don't want a cell phone like yours. Yours sucks."

So I simply changed the survey a little:

Please rank 1-4 what you would most like for Christmas:
__ X Box 360
__ Cell Phone
__ Gym Membership
__ Not only do I not want anything for Christmas, I would like to help
children less fortunate than myself and donate my gifts to charity.

So they decided they would be happy sharing an X Box 360. I am going to try to get them cell phones though, to put in their stockings. Sucky cell phones like mine, but I do care about their safety, and they really are good kids who are not too greedy most times and do appreciate what they have.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Pieces of Flair

Message from Facebook-

Sorry, we don't have any "gangsta ass niggas" flair.

You know what that means...

If you create the "gangsta ass niggas" flair, it will be the one and only!

Umm, no, I don't think I should create any gangsta ass niggas flair. Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.*

AAM has been a good friend to me. I always enjoy hanging out with her. She usually inspires me to do activities which really enrich my life. I joined her book club. She invites me to walk, to run, to spin class, to exercise. She has helped me to better my frugal living habits. Usually our get togethers include some form of exercise, and often financial mentoring. On occasion, however, I have influenced her to do things that are neither very healthy nor very frugal. On one such occasion, I performed the song "Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta" at an open mic night.(Here is the scene from Office Space for which I would guess this song is best known among boring white girls like me.) This was a source of amusement for quite awhile, because, well, maybe it is one of those "had to be there" kind of things, but I guess it was funny because 1) I am really shy, 2) I can't sing, and 3)I don't use phrases like "cocksuckin, pussy-eatin prankstas" in my everyday discourse. So for some time, it was fun to use lines from "Damn, It Feels Good To Be A Gangsta" in our everyday discourse.

My favorite occasion was actually when we were running. Many runners have cool shirts which say things like "Pain is temporary, pride is forever", or "I'm the fast girl your mother warned you about". I thought it would be cool to make a shirt that says "Gangsta ass niggas don't run fast". But for some reason, we never did, and eventually the Getto Boys talk got old.

We haven't been running lately at all and AAM asked me to run the Jingle Bell Run For Arthritis with her. I was pretty excited about it and was also excited because I had just discovered Facebook Flair. I was spending way too much time looking through all of the Facebook Flair Friday night. It seems like you could find every line of dialogue from some of my favorite movies like Elf or The Princess Bride. There were even numerous lines from Office Space. This alone cracked me up, because one of the funny things in that movie is the waitress being chastised for only wearing the minimum required amount of flair on her uniform. So how appropriate would it be to find some Facebook flair, from Office Space, to send to AAM? I was hoping to find some Flair that said "Gangsta Ass Niggas Don't Run Fast" But, alas, I sent her this one and had a freezingly good time running with her Saturday morning. It was probably our slowest race time ever, but that's OK, because real gangsta-ass niggas dont flex nuts cuz real gangsta-ass niggas know they got em.
* Inigo, The Princess Bride

Saturday, December 6, 2008


I went in and talked to the K Mart manager. He gave me a $10 gift card for my troubles. He didn't yell at me and I didn't apologize.

Friday, December 5, 2008


IDNKM is right, they DO actually read those surveys.
I noticed in last Sunday's K Mart ad, they were offering double coupons, up to and including $2. I was excited because I had several $2 coupons that made several items free or close to it. Realistically, I spent way too much time sorting my coupons and walking through the store rummaging through my coupon file, trying to beat others couponers to the prize items like the free Gillette body wash I will never use, trying to keep track of the coupons I have used and the ones I want to use and the ones that I wanted to use, but the items were out of stock, etc.

A couple hours later, when I arrived at the only open checkout lane, I had twenty five items and twenty three coupons. The people behind me were glaring at me like Morton Malaise when someone is writing a check! After every other coupon the cashier scanned, the machine beeped at her and she would have to do something to get it to start accepting coupons again. A couple of times, she didn't notice this and went on scanning my coupons, and setting them aside, even though they had not been deducted. I was trying to keep track and point this out, much to the chagrin of the people waiting behind me. But when my son called to give me directions to where I was supposed to pick him up promptly two minutes later, I lost track and gave up on the coupon scanning.

I then pulled out my checkbook and started to...just kidding. I quickly scanned my debit card and was thankful the harrowing ordeal was over and left the store questioning whether the $26.50 I saved was worth the time it took to accomplish that savings. I also was thinking, "hmm, according to my calculations, I should have saved more than $26.50", but I needed to pick up my son and avoid the angry mob forming behind me, so I took my receipt and left. It's not like they could have taken each coupon and matched it up with each item to see which ones rang up and which ones didn't. That would take forever.

It was frustrating when I got home and looked at my receipt, to realize that only eighteen of my twenty three coupons had rung up. Since all my coupons were valued at $1-$2, that would be a $5-$10 savings I should have received. I noticed on the receipt, I could take a survey and possibly win a $2,500 gift card, so I decided that would be an ideal way to voice my frustration and possibly recoup my loss.

I completed the survey fairly and wrote in the comments section that not all my coupons were scanned accurately. Ahh. I felt a sense of relief and closure. End of story.

Not really. Last night, I answered the phone to have K Mart Manager wanting to know what my problem was. It was a pretty confusing and probably pointless conversation.
Manager- "This is K Mart manager. I understand you had a problem in my store yesterday?"
Me- "Umm, actually, it was Sunday, and yes, some of my coupons did not scan, so I commented about it on an online survey."
Manager-"Sunday? I thought it was yesterday."
Me-"No, it was Sunday, but it doesn't really matter, does it?"
Manager-"My message says it was yesterday."
Me-"I didn't leave you a message, and I am looking at my receipt and it says Sunday, plus, I remember it was Sunday."
Manager-"Well, I was here Sunday."
Me-"OK?... So was I."
Manager-"hmmm" ...Long silence... then suddenly, "I've tried to contact you twice! I called yesterday and couldn't get through, AND I called today and left a message for you to call me back! When you didn't, I tried to call a third time!"
Me-"I'm, sorry, I didn't get the message." (from my grandma who has Alzheimer's)
Husband, from the other room- "Don't apologize to him!"
Manager-"Well, I was here Sunday!"
Me-"Ummm, OK??? Here's the deal, I did not take the time to complain right then. I needed to leave, and after I got home, I counted the coupons on my receipt, and I knew that there would be nothing that could be done at that point, once my coupons have been put in a drawer with hundreds of others, and..."
Husband- "Don't apologize to him!"
Manager-"Yes, yes, I could have done something right then. I could have gotten the coupons out of the register, and matched each one up with a code that shows on the receipt and then we could have matched those up to the items you purchased to see if there were any coupons that did not ring up! I did that with another lady who took the time to complain in person, rather than going online!"
Me-"I'm sorry, but.."
Husband- "Stop apologizing to him!"
Manager-"Well, why don't you come back in and bring your receipt and I will look at it?
Me-"umm, sure, OK, I'll do that"
Me-"I don't know? Will you be there tomorrow afternoon?"
Manager-"Yes, I will be here, except for when I go to lunch from noon to 1:00."
Me-"OK, I will try to come in tomorrow afternoon."
Scary Manager-"Good, Good. I will see you then."

I did also notice that one of my items that should have been on sale didn't ring up correctly. And I did find a $5 off coupon I could have used. So I guess I will go in and see what he wants and maybe he will price adjust the sale item and take my $5 coupon. Or maybe he will shine a laser scanner in my eyes and try to kill me. I'm kind of scared. I will probably end up apologizing again.